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Actress Kearran Giovanni Shares Her Favorite Places To Eat, Drink, And Play In New York City


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Welcome to MEET THIS CITY, your chance to explore our favorite cities in the world through the eyes of a celebrity, star chef, creative maverick, or pro athlete.

This week we’re headed to the concrete jungle where dreams are made of, New York City. The city where aspiring actors and artists go to in hopes of making their dreams come true. NY has certainly lived up to Alicia Keys’ lyrics and helped creatives launch their careers, becoming home to many along the way. For TNT’s Major Crimes star Kearran Giovanni, NY became her home and now she’s taking a trip down memory lane to share all of her favorite places to go in the Big Apple.

For those who don’t know, in addition to starring in Major Crimes, Kearran Giovanni has starred on Broadway, One Life to Live, and alongside Kiefer Sutherland in ABC’s hit show Designated Survivor. When the cameras aren’t rolling, Giovanni’s passion is philanthropy — including The Special Olympics, The Lupus Foundation and The Sunshine Foundation which was founded by her Major Crimes co-star G.W. Bailey. From performing in nine Broadway shows, Giovanni knows New York like the back of her hand and shares places you’ll surely want to visit.

Let’s get to it!

MOST NY THING TO DO
Go Walking

Honestly if you just want to be a New Yorker — which my favorite thing about when I visit cities is I don’t want to be touristy, I want to feel like I live there — I think it’s all about walking Hudson and stopping in every little restaurant and walking the High Line because you can see so much of the city and have great food that’s around.

You know you can shop, you can chat with people, you can see the Statue of Liberty. It’s kind of like you get a view of the city and also you get to just hop into really cute little places.

BEST PLACE FOR A SWEET TREAT

It’s on the Upper West Side and they make these cookies that weigh like 10 pounds– they’re huge! They’re like a quarter pound hamburger. They have chocolate chip, chocolate chocolate chip, chocolate peanut butter. I mean… they’re a meal within themselves. I bring one back on the plane with me every time I come back and they’re so good. You can smell them baking down the block.

BEST LATE NIGHT SNACK SPOT

Hot dog, papaya drink, 100 percent. Or, if you want to sit down, I lived down the street for years from French Roast. An amazing little French brassiere that like somehow at like 4 in the morning could still turn out croque madame and you know anything you want at all hours.

BEST STYLING
Spanish Harlem

Spanish Harlem because there’s all these little Dominican salons that are just random one-offs. For like 30 bucks you can find a little Dominican salon and they would blow your hair so straight. It was amazing. Just head to Spanish Harlem, find a Dominican salon, get your hair blown.

ICONIC FOOD OF THE CITY
Pizza

Pizza, 100 percent. Like a slice of pizza cannot be duplicated. I don’t care how hard they try in LA — it’s just not the same. Some people say it’s the water, some people say it’s the temperature or whatever it is, I don’t know what it is. But you cannot beat walking down the street with grease going down your arm, eating a NY slice.

BEST OUTDOOR WINTER ACTIVITY

Ice skating in Central Park or any of the parks. Ice skating is like you can’t beat it. They have one up in Bryant Park, there’s a beautiful village around it. Any ice skating 100 percent. Rockefeller Center — it’s so nice!

BEST CONCERT VENUE

Madison Square Garden because it’s so iconic, but I’ve been to the Barclay Center and it’s pretty fabulous. I mean it’s a gorgeous venue in the middle of nothing… not nothing, it’s in the middle you know just kinda pops out. But it’s beautiful, amazing new venue.

BEST COFFEE SHOP
Street Coffee

I’m a Starbucks girl. There’s one on every corner — that’s my go to. But honestly there’s nothing like a Styrofoam cup of coffee. Like those guys on the corner, and they’ve got bagels and coffee and whatever. There’s something about that little Styrofoam-y cup that somehow makes it taste even better. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it cause its really good.

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Getty Image
BEST STREET FOOD

There’s this Halal meat guy and now he’s like super famous. On 6th and 53rd. Grilled chicken-y, kinda halal meat with like rice and a side of vegetables. And he puts it in a Styrofoam cup and it’s enough to feed like a family of 16 for like $5.50.

It’s so good and it will make you pull over and sit down on like a bench in the middle of NY and just eat your street meat.

BEST PLACE FOR A DRINK

It’s a historic boat that was actually brought in, traveled over and re-done by one person, my friend Miles. It’s gorgeous. It docks itself in Hudson River Park and you can see all of the city all across the water.

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When it’s 80 degrees in October Via @lickinthebowl

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BEST DINNER SPOT

It’s french, it’s fish heavy. The food is just always very consistent, delicious. I love that place.

BEST BRUNCH SPOT

Down in Soho. It’s like very classic NY. The bar is the place to be, its always crowded. The food is amazing, it’s just kind of a classic place if you want to have a champagne, a rose, a martini.

BEST PLACE TO SHOP

Shoe Salon in Bergdorf. If you haven’t been there, there are men and women there who are just hungry to sell you shoes. And they have shoes that are just made custom for that store. The people there know their shoes, like they’re in a suit, in a tie, and they are there to sell you shoes and put things on your feet. And they make you feel like a princess or a prince. It’s epicly gorgeous.

BEST KEPT SECRET

It sat vacant for so long. It was like a military base for a really long time and now you can take a ferry over that’s free most of the year or like three or two dollars the rest of the year. And now I have friends that have opened a beautiful restaurant there called Island Oyster and it’s the same people that own Grand Banks (which is like the most beautiful place to sit out and have a cocktail on the water).

Island Oyster has the best lobster roll and just delicious, delicious food. And I think up until this restaurant opened, I don’t think people realized it was even there or that you could go and hang out. It’s beautiful. You get a golf cart and you can go around the entire island and have a beautiful lunch. It’s just really gorgeous. There’s a park there and you can walk up to the top and see the Statue of Liberty.

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Skyline

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